The We in Movies
"Social Movies" is a web platform dedicated to the conception of movies based on « user-generated » content in order to involve the public in the creative process of a film from the writing to the post production. Everyone is invited to collaborate according to his/her skills. Firstly, the web platform focus on short and animated films.
This idea shows a new way of mixing cinema and social media based on the public participation and deals with several opportunities for the movie industry. So far the cinema was based on professionally written scripts, the “user-generated content” approach is an innovative way to conceive movies and enables a greater interaction with the audience. We can see this new style as a mean to renew an established industry, to provoke further interests from the audience, to attract a different kind of public, in other words to broader and deepen the audience. Indeed, regarding the impact of the illegal downloading on the movie industry over the last decade, the consumers’ willingness-to-pay has declined, consequently movies are less and less economically sustainable. The direct result is a reduction of the diversity of the movies produced. The perception of a higher involvement from the public could be a solution for a more sustainable industry in a long term. The incentive to produce movies can be boosted by the audience’s awareness and interest for a project they have been participated in since its inception. Although the cinema tends to be a passive activity, this idea shows that it could be different. With the use of the web 2.0 and user-generated content, the creativity is no more limited to the specialized professionals but is open to the masses. Nowadays, People are really into the self made videos (Vine) and want experience they can create and not just to be told to enjoy.
"Social Movies" takes place on a collaborative webplatform where users write a script together (the forum) and offer their talents (production part). 1/ Forum: The forum is the place to scriptwriting. A theme is suggested We (start-up members) define the main theme, the place (eg hairdressing salon), characters (eg : a guy, a girl 25 years old looking like a fashionista), time (saturday afternoon), mini beginning of a story (he cuts her hair, she does not like). And then, each user contributes to the writing of a scene by filling a specific form in which it indicates the temporality, place, action and dialogue. Each contribution must be very short (specific number of words) and the number of participants will be limited. The moderation of the forum is provided by "super-users" who are the most active and relevant members. Possible reward: the “supers-users” initiate a story. 2/ Production part : Once a scenario is written, then comes from the production part. A call for collaboration is issued for animation design, music, illustration... Then the whole community collaboratively edits, develops and remixes each others work to create short animation films.
The project targets everyone interested in cinema and willing to take part in a creative process. But obviously, students in filmmaking field are the first targets as the young public using new technologies and social medias. We have noticed a particularly active group who might be interested in: the community of fans. Fan community gathers around the enthusiasm vis-à-vis the same "object"which might be a book, a movie, a TV series, artist, etc.. They take part in the storytelling process by creating, extending or producing content based on the original work. For example, by practicing the "fanfiction", the fans are rewriting the fiction, creating scenes featuring characters from another story. Even if the webplatform has no ambition to be dedicated to any fan community, some fans could be interested in using it to express their creativeness.
To crowd-sourcing the concept and direction of a movie could be a complex thing and it will be necessary to take baby steps in the process. For now, we are thinking about these different steps in order to create a start-up : - Getting feedbacks on the project (both technical and commercial issues) - Doing a market research to validate our positioning - Working with an IT developer and UX designer in order to develop the webplatform and make it attractive and easy to use. - Collaborating with films schools (Gobelins, London Film School, Baltic Film and Media School in Estonia ..) - Developing the market expansion strategy - Preparing the fund raising and validating the business model. - Finding an incubator in order to get help in creating the start-up.
As explained in the brief summary, it will be better to start with short films, especially animation ones and then in a long run, to release full-lenght films. The sustainability of the project will be mostly based on the broadcasting rights. We are looking for partnerships with societies as KissKiss Bank Bank or MK2 which have recently launched an initiative about short films showing a growing interest for this type of films. Indeed, we'll need some partnerships with some film distributors and exhibitors as the main objective for a movie remains to be screened. Brands will be interested in supporting the project as some of their advertising could be produced via the platform. All the profits coming from the productions will be split 50/50 with the artists who have contributed. The other part will be reinvested in the start-up for its own development (medium or full lenght films).